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Justin George Turner Papers: Finding Aid
mssTurner, Justin papers  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Overview of the Collection
  • Access
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms

  • Overview of the Collection

    Title: Justin George Turner Papers
    Dates (inclusive): 1953-1969
    Collection Number: mssTurner, Justin papers
    Creator: Turner, Justin G.
    Extent: 928 pieces. 2 boxes.
    Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Manuscripts Department
    1151 Oxford Road
    San Marino, California 91108
    Phone: (626) 405-2129
    Email: reference@huntington.org
    URL: http://www.huntington.org
    Abstract: This small collection of Lincolniana collector Justin George Turner (1898-1976) chiefly relates to the Civil War Centennial Commission and all of its related activities especially in California.
    Language: English.


    Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.

    Administrative Information

    Publication Rights

    The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item]. Justin George Turner Papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.


    Gift of Justin George Turner, December 1969 and July 1974.

    Biographical Note

    Justin George Turner (1898-1976), attorney, investment executive, historian, author, and collector of Lincolniana. Turner moved to Los Angeles from Chicago in 1943. He was involved in many educational and historical institutions and associations. In 1961-1965, he was president of the California Civil War Centennial Commission. He was also president emeritus of the University of Judaism. He co-authored a book entitled Mary Todd Lincoln: Her life and letters.

    Scope and Content

    This small collection chiefly relates to the Civil War Centennial Commission and all of its related activities especially in California. There are also pieces related to the Civil War Round Table, a national organization; the California Heritage Preservation Association; the Confederate Research Club; and the Pen Club, an organization headed by Allan Nevins and which celebrated both George Washington and Abraham Lincoln with annual luncheons attended by prominent historians such as Nevins and Ray Billington.
    There are seven letters from Edmund Gerald Brown, former governor of California, addressed to Justin Turner and other letters from historians. All are related to the Civil War Centennial. There are 624 letters of which 339 of these letters are written by Turner. In addition to this there is a group of form letters, printed announcements, memos, and drafts that number 217 pieces. There are 23 copies of speeches and memos and 56 pieces of ephemera. There are nine items regarding the Washington/Lincoln luncheons. There are several items that pertain to the history of Jewish people in the United States and the American Jewish Historical Society.
    Prominent participants include: Ronald Reagan, Robert F. Kennedy, Gage Merrell, Bruce Catton, and Moshe Davis. The subjects include: George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Mary Todd Lincoln, the Civil War, American history, the Huntington Library and the American Jewish Historical Society.
    The great majority of letters are carbon copies. There is a photograph of Merrell Gage, sculpture famous for his "Face of Lincoln," and a photograph of William L. Shaw, a chairman of the Civil War Centennial Commission of California.


    The papers are organized in the following manner: Organized in the following manner: 1. Letters and other papers written by Justin G. Turner (Box 1), and 2. Letters by authors other than Turner, photographs, and ephemera. (Box 2). The Turner letters are arranged alphabetically by addressee; the letters by other are alphabetically by author.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Huntington Library's Online Catalog.  


    Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865.
    Lincoln, Mary Todd, 1818-1882.
    Turner, Justin G. -- Archives.
    Washington, George, 1732-1799.
    American Jewish Historical Society.
    California Civil War Centennial Commission -- Archives.
    California Heritage Preservation Association.
    Civil War Round Table (Chicago, Ill.)
    Confederate Research Club.
    Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery.
    United States. Civil War Centennial Commission.
    Historians -- California -- Los Angeles -- Archives.
    Jews -- United States -- History.
    United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Centennial celebrations, etc.
    United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Societies, etc.


    Letters (correspondence) -- United States -- 20th century.
    Professional papers -- California -- Los Angeles -- 20th century.

    Additional Contributors

    Billington, Ray Allen, 1903-1981.
    Brown, Edmund G. (Edmund Gerald), 1905-1996.
    Catton, Bruce, 1899-1978, recipient.
    Davis, Moshe.
    Gage, Merrell, 1892-1981.
    Kennedy, Robert F., 1925-1968, recipient.
    Nevins, Allan, 1890-1971, recipient.
    Reagan, Ronald, recipient.
    California Civil War Centennial Commission.